tv [untitled] October 13, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm PDT
office, the court, our office, and community-based organizations, in helping to turn the log cabin ranch program around. the idea, when we were initially involved in the planning committee, was to develop a program where our youth do not have to go out of state to pennsylvania, glen mills, george jr. i did a kurd count on our george jr. population. nine of our clients are out of state in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. i would hope as this program moves forward, we have no use going on to georgia junior or glen mills because the facility that at log cabin ranch is far enough away from the city where there is not that temptation for our clients to run away, but moreover, what is important, the
family reunification efforts of the ranch administration to transport parents on the weekend. i also want to shed light, however, on the reentry planning for our clients. currently, as i speak today, we have nine clients who have failed in the ranch. two are in court facing robbery and assault charges. four were vote on probation and were committed to out of home placement, some of them going to be out of state facilities. i would urge the board of supervisors. i know it is one of the findings and recommendations, that there be funding, not only for capital improvement, but i think we really need immediate funding to develop a strong reentry program, as we have in our juvenile collaborative reentry court. i know it is a lot of acronyms, and bubut it has intensive servs
for kids in foster care. we can develop this very same strong, intensive model for our highest risk youth at the ranch. we have had really good success. ms. mcgee has been monitoring the progress. unfortunately, it is only for our public defender clients. it is now a nationally recognized. the supreme court justice of california visited and they actually generated a video from the visit at our court. there is actually -- there is absolutely no reason that we do not develop the same model for these youth. the minute they go into reentry they do a group -- they do a great program at the ranch -- but there are too many risks when they return home.
we need much more family involvement, and we need to work with these youth from the very day they are committed to the ranch. we have an excellent support system of youth advocates and social workers, and i am committed, from our office, to have each client of our office committed to the ranch, to have a dedicated youth advocate work with that child and work with the probation department and partners at the ranch, throughout the period that that child is resigning at the ranch, and to work with the team to develop strong reentry. that is a very strong need. i am hoping that we can work together to develop this model. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you. now we will hear from an important partner in the rich, the sanfrancisco unified school district.
i see we have a number of folks from the school district. i would ask them to please come forward. welcome to the government audit and oversight committee. >> thank you and good morning. janet schultze, superintendent of high schools and have supervised the ranch for the last two years. i want to say thank-you to the civil grand jury for all their work in the report, a debt of gratitude to probation or all of their work. the change they have implemented at the ranch really makes it easier for us to do a much more positive and robust educational model. some of the changes we have implemented over the last year -- you heard about the change in the lead teacher. teachers would profit-based learning, and something that you cannot put a price tag on,
passion for the kids. he has a familiarity with that. bringing more of the project- based to the young people down there. i would disagree with the recommendations that we would love to see the ridge utilized more fully and have a more robust enrollment. that would help us increase our funding and ability to add even more staff. we currently have three teachers and a professional. also reiterate the call regarding the facility. it is going to be difficult to increase the enrollment to a certain degree without making the improvements needed to the structures of the facility. again, i was down there as well -- a few times i have been there. the atmosphere is fabulous. what folks have done with the cosmetics of the place is really commendable. they did a lot with what they had to work with. i think that is great. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you.
i also see other members of the staff. thank you for your work as well. before we turn to public comment, chief, i wanted to do a comment -- follow up to what miss lee had brought up, the issue of recidivism, trying to enhance programming around that, at our efforts around that. i wonder if you have any thoughts about that? >> alison mcgee. we have got a lot about that. we are certainly aware of the challenges we face in terms of strengthening the program. reentry is critical. one of the changes we made when we developed this new model is we have dedicated two probation officers to log cabin. they are up there while the youth is residing and they stay with them as they transition home.
there is much more continuity. the challenge is, the workload for those probation officers is tremendous. they are not able to offer the same level of intensive support that our other teams are able to do. the department has considered hiring its own social workers or advocates to partner with probation officers so they can better support you as their transitioning out. that may be something that you see in the budget coming out this year or even something that we may try mid-year, to try to get additional support for the youth as they are transitioning. when we started this model, we really did reach out to our stakeholders. we consider this a student program. not just jpd's facility. we need a partnership and support. part of the response to this report is we will continue to meet with stakeholder groups to get their insight and support as we move forward.
we will continue to work with them and figure out how we can best partner. supervisor campos: i would encourage you to do that, and not to wait until next year. one of the things that struck me in the individual conversations i had with the youth, for many of them, this was a concern. they loved the program, the support they had at the ranch, but there was a fear of what happens once they left, back into the world, if you will. being exposed to some of the same challenges, temptations, issues they're dealing with before they went to the ranch. it struck me as something that was very palpable, something that they were worried about. >> absolutely. many of those you are transitional-aged. oftentimes when we have 18-year- old of falling through the
cracks of not being eligible for youth employment programs, but not having eligibility there for the adult programs. issues such as vocational programming, transitional housing. these are big problems for the youth returning to the ranch given their age. we'll try to find solutions city-wide, better programming, more consistent location of programming for kids at log cabin. we certainly welcome -- you may have some insight on that. supervisor campos: thank you. i do not have any speaker cards, but if there is any member of the public that would like to speak, please come forward. you each have three minutes. >> my name is jack. i am a sitting member of the civil grand jury. i just want to say the report from five years ago, which was
filled by positive remarks from the stakeholders, followed by the commendatory report, -- has been destroyed in 48 of the 50 states. usually, by politicians who are embarrassed. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you. is there any other member of the public that would like to speak on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. colleagues, can we take a motion to file this item? thank you. please call item no. 4. >> item 4. resolution responding to the presiding judge of the superior court on the findings and recommendations contained in the 2010-2011 civil grand jury report entitled "log cabin ranch moving towards positive horizons" and urging the mayor to cause the implementation of accepted findings and recommendations
through his/her department heads and through the development of the annual budget. supervisor chiusupervisor farreo the members of this administration of the log cabin and everyone else who did work on this report. thank you for coming out. i do want to visit as well. i am glad that you did, chair can boast. i look forward to making that happen in the near future. -- chair campos. for me to vote yes on this, i will have to have some tweaks to the other recommendations and findings. it is not indicative of log cabin ranch. i will be doing this on every report. given our fiscal responsibilities next year, i am not sure that we should be approving any line item right now. the other week we had made a report that we could consider pending funding.
i would be happy to support that. saying that we need to support this and fund immediately, i would have difficulty supporting that. >supervisor campos: that is consistent with what we have done in the past. why don't we open it up again to members of the public. is there anyone from the public that would like to comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. supervisor farrell, would you like to make a motion? findings no. 5, 6, recommendations for no. 5 and 6. supervisor farrell: motion approving finding no. 5, recommendation no. 5, i would rephrase it to say the mayor and board of supervisors should provide capital funding for long needed infrastructure needs when and if available. i am open to different language
on this. for funding no. 6. the recent programmatic changes i love hearing about, and i think it is a terrific, warrant maximum capacity when and if available. recommendation #six. the mayor and board of supervisors should consider a third cohort for the 2011, 2012 budget cycle and for a full court for the 2012 cycle, if and when funds are available. supervisor campos: thank you. we have a motion. that is fine with me. i think the when and if available is up to us to make happen. so we -- my office will introduce an item at the next board meeting so that we can have a follow-up hearing on this. we talked about coming back in one month period that should give us enough time to know the status of this item.
again, i want to thank the civil grand jury for continuing to bring attention to this important matter, as degenerate into it, it choke -- as the gentleman indicated, there is a huge benefit to the city in this process. >> good morning, i just want to clarify the motion. the grand jury does instruct for the findings, there needs to be a finding of agree or disagree. for the recommendation, agree or disagree. disagree can be wholly or partially. i just want to clarify with the amendments, how the motion will read. supervisor campos: with respect to the findings, there is agreement. it is the recommendations where the tweak is.
supervisor farrell: are you saying, for example, finding number six, warning to expansion to maximum capacity. that implies funding to the maximum capacity right away. that is the thing i have issue with. you say that we have no ability to change the wording on finding the basics? >> i believe you can it in your response change the wording. we could incorporate that into the revised amendment that goes to the full board, but it needs to stay -- until we can confer on this -- we disagree partially. if you are not in full agreement, i think you have to be in partial disagreement, but then we can reword that when it goes to the full board. adding the language when and if funding is available. supervisor farrell: that is fine by me.
supervisor campos: so on the motion, can we take that without objection? thank you. thank you again. please call -- actually, if we could file this autumn, without objection. again, thank you to the grand jury, department staff, staff of the city, san francisco unified school district for being here. please call item no. 5. >> i would also like to make an announcement. there is an overflow room on the first floor. item 5. resolution urging the san francisco municipal transportation agency to reconsider and abandon the decision to shift the burden of credit card merchant charges to the city cab drivers. supervisor campos: thank you. madam clerk, have you called
item five? yes, you have. this is a resolution that i introduced. this was a prayer resolution. the reason this was reintroduced was because at the time you needed a unanimous vote at the border supervisors because it was without committee reference. so we wanted to make sure this haydn had a full opportunity to be vetted. the purpose of this resolution is to urge the san francisco municipal transportation agency to reconsider -- to abandon its decision of shifting from credit card charges to san francisco taxi drivers. with that, colleagues, unless you have any comments or questions? maybe we can open it up to public comment. i have a number of cards. charles rapone. mark bruberg.
john han. brad newshum. any other member of the public that would like to speak, you have three minutes. >> good morning, supervisors. my name is charles. i am here on behalf of looks her cab company. as one of the speakers said on the shipyard issue, private businesses need a measure of certainty, particularly when we're asked to make substantial investments. luxor cab accepted sfmta's proposals on credit cards. we signed long-term contracts with the vendors. we made substantial investments along with the vendors involved in new equipment in the taxicabs, new communications technologies, software, generally, a lot of i.t.
resources. we would ask that you please do not change the rules after we have already made our commitments and investments, and after we have already made it happen. speaking to some of the specifics of how the resolution, it is true that drivers pay 5% on sunrise, but they gained 18 cent -- 18% to 21% on all rides things to the recent rate increase. dealing with sfmta is proving to be very favorable for cabdrivers. cab companies get none of the 5% charge. it all goes to the credit card processing company. an important consideration is a new federal law requires reporting of credit-card transactions for cabdrivers. part of the 5% charge is for card processors accounting cost
associated with the new 1099 k reporting requirement. the driver will also get a valuable new financial benefits in the new credit card arrangements, and that is greatly reduced risk of credit card charge backs. the new rear seat technology in taxis is part of the deal and that we made with sfmta. it makes transactions faster and more reliable, and these devices also prompt customers to add a generous tip. at luxor, tips on credit-card actions are averaging 21%. for passengers, the rear seat technology means faster and more secure card transactions. for some, they simply tap their card on the device, and that is it. no signature required. i am running out of time, so i was simply wrapped up by saying
the sfmta has matched the new cost to drivers with substantial new revenues for drivers. thank you very much. we urge you to vote no. supervisor campos: supervisor farrell has a question for you. supervisor farrell: i got a letter from luxor, so a few questions about it. you mentioned you implemented a new contract with these companies. could you explain how that money flow works? >> a substantial amount of money involved in putting these devices in the rear seat. that is part of the deal with sfmta. they insisted that credit card charges, if they were going to be passed on to drivers. we are believed -- relieved. supervisor farrell: you for that expense? >> the vendor bear the bulk of
the expense. we do have substantial expenses in i.t. resources, communications technology. the credit card company is the one that has purchased the equipment. we install the equipment, and they are the ones that collect the 5%. we get that of that. supervisor farrell: 18% to 21% rate increase. when does that go into effect? >> i believe it was the beginning of last month. supervisor farrell: a few months before that, for status quo -- taxi drivers received a rate increase, a 18% to 21%, and i will ask for verification on that -- what you said that there were no increases for the cab companies? >> that is correct.
the only thing that cab companies got out of the deal is we are relieved from the burden of paying the credit card cost. supervisor farrell: thank you. supervisor campos: next speaker please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. the mta has changed the policy adopted by the sport 14 years ago prohibiting companies from passing on credit charges to their drivers. this has created a windfall for large companies and has placed a costly and unfair burden on their drivers. the policy allows credit providers to provide it returned driver is exorbitant fees 5%, much more than other merchants pay. this is causing drivers $1,000 to $2,000 a year. it is not just the driver paying these charges. reversal of this policy is in the best interest of the public. many drivers are discouraging the use of credit and some cases refusing to take it.
the passenger may have to go to an atm machine at an additional cost of time and money and great inconvenience, and this policy can also lead to nasty disputes. you can see one on you to become if you like. i am not condoning the practice, but it is happening and will continue to happen. it is human nature. as long as this policy is in place, it is impossible to effectively monitor or police. you have heard it said, drivers have recently gotten a meager increase. that increase was remedial, came after nine years of waiting. in the meantime, gas prices have gone up over 100%. gates and long term lease fees have increased over 20% in that time. inflation has gobbled up another 20% of drivers real earnings. more taxicab's have made their way onto the streets, and even more are being added. companies are right now waiting
in the wings to propose another gate increase. these credit charges will permanently impact credit income. as credit continue to expand, it will reduce it more and more. the only fair solution for both drivers and passengers is to relieve the driver of these charges. by the way, this windfall that cab companies received did not go through operational expenses. these large companies were paying $1,800 to $2,000 a month to medallion holders. after these charges were taken away from them, they are now paying $2,300 to $2,500 to medallion holders. so they passed on the savings to their medallion holders. it had nothing to do with operational costs. frankly, is not your function or the function of the mta to protect these companies against their own in providence.
i would urge you strongly to pass this house, thank you. supervisor campos: we have a question from supervisor farrell. supervisor farrell: thank you for being here. you mentioned a windfall to the cab companies. we heard that the cab company to receive these charges. i try to understand what the reality is here. >> the windfall is they were paying the credit charges. these big companies were paying these credit charges up to the point that the mta said that they did not have to anymore. that is where the windfall comes. they are still not paying the costs of installing the equipment. that is borne by the vendors. supervisor campos: thank you. next speaker please.
>> good morning, supervisors. my name is dave schneider, member of united taxicab workers. i have been driving for about 30 years or so. in san francisco now, we have to occupy all straight -- wall street'. in the taxicab industry, we have the occupied reality. who is at the bottom of the pyramid of the food chain at the taxi companies? the drivers. who kicks up to the top all time in terms of tips and other things? the drivers. who is the working labor, the
working poor. the drivers usually. with these credit card charges -- perhaps this is not a great example and subject to attack -- and what would you charge a waitress on every credit card transaction going out on -- at a restaurant? does this make sense? is there something wrong with this picture? and what about the san francisco living wages policy? doesn't the city have a policy of living wages? most cab drivers do not make much more than $20,000 to $25,000 a year. is that a living wage? i hope you take all of these factors it in consideration.
lastly, my memory is not so good but i'm going to try to do it. something that president kennedy said. if a society cannot benefit, the many who are poor, it cannot save, the few who are rich. supervisor campos: thank you. next speaker please. >> i am an owner-operator of yellow cab. the first speaker mentioned -- he purposely skipped one thing. cab companies charge for a logo. $1,200 a month. that has to be factored in. i am paying for a receipt on top of 12 under dollars. this 5% credit card is it an unfair burden for most of us.